Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Defiled. Polluted. Unclean. These are the origin of the name Bartimaeus. Before we can truly understand this passage, we must understand the culture. People like Bartimaeus were considered defiled. They were considered unclean and to be unclean was a horrible thing. The people believed God did not and would not accept a man like Bartimaeus. They were beaten and mistreated horribly because it was believed that God had cursed them and they were treated like a curse.
When Bartimaeus calls out to Christ, everyone could understand that, but he was cursed. He was not worth the time of a great Rabbi such as Jesus. So they rebuked him and told him to shut up. But he shouted all the more. He risked very harsh treatment, possibly a beating by not keeping his mouth shut. He had been born blind and all of his life, he had learned to accept his condition. It was part of his life. But when the opportunity arose for things to change, it was worth a beating. It was worth anything they might have done to him. He was not about to let that moment slip by. I imagine had Jesus not called him, he might have taken off running not caring who or what he ran over or into. He was not letting this moment pass without doing everything possible.
Whoever may be reading this today, I have good news for you today. Jesus has come. This is the moment for you to do everything you can to call upon Him. Do not settle. Do not settle for anything less than the abundant life that God has promised. Do not sit there on the side of the road as if today you are living the most blessed life possible. Cry out to God! He is near. Don’t settle with less peace, less joy, less love, less success. Get up! Run around like a chicken with your head cut off. This is your moment. Do not let it pass by. Cry out, “JESUS! SAVE MY MARRIAGE! HEAL MY BABY! STOP THE NIGHTMARES! COME TO MY RESCUE!”
When they did come to get him, the Scripture says that he threw off his covering and jumped to his feet. The Lord hears the cry of the broken-hearted, but when we calls us to Him, we must throw off the cloak and jump to our feet. The cloak was a covering. He needed it for the long periods of time he would be outside begging, out in the sun either baking in the heat or shivering in the cold. Sometimes, we have to throw off the things in life that have made settling easier before we can jump to our feet and go to Jesus. We surround our self with people, things, habits, thoughts, and assumptions that make it easier for us to be ok with less than what God has promised. We tell our self that some people are just luckier than we are. We keep company with others who have settled. They have no ambition and no dreams. We self-medicate to help us escape our situation rather than fighting through it. Just in case you have forgotten. God has not created you for a mediocre life. He is waiting for you to throw off your complacency with life and run to Him. Then He will give poor into you the abundance He desires for His children.
Cheer up beggar! You have to beg no more for the Son of God has come to you. Cry out! Do not be muzzled! Throw off complacency. Jump to your feet and live the life God has ordained for you. He has come to give you life more abundantly! Praise His Name!
In what areas of your life have you settled and stop dreaming? Cry out to Him in this area and take hold of new hope today. Please share this with someone who needs to hear it today.
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Pastor Lee is the author of The Journey: Understanding God’s Plan for Your Life. Subscribe to his blog. Like The Journey facebook page. Purchase his book. Send your copy of The Journey to Pastor Lee and he will sign it and add a personal note and send it back to you. Christmas is coming and The Journey would be a great gift as people begin the new year. Email Pastor Lee for details.